Jeff Flake joins list of Republicans endorsing Biden

Republican Jeff Flake has joined the growing list of GOP politicians endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president.

The former Arizona senator, who left Congress in 2019, criticized President Trump without naming him in a speech Monday. He blasted the president's claims that he's conservative and called Biden a "decent" man who knows how to compromise.

On Monday, Flake offered a conservative's case for Biden, arguing that the former vice president would restore civility to political discourse.

"With Joe Biden as president, we will be able to preserve the civic space wherein Republicans and Democrats can go back to merely disagreeing about issues of policy, without fear of revenge or reprisal," Flake said in a speech that aired Monday morning. "That day cannot come soon enough. And so, it is because of my conservatism, and because of my belief in the Constitution, and in the separation of power, and because I am gravely concerned about the conduct and behavior of our current president that I stand here today — proudly and wholeheartedly — to endorse Joe Biden to be our next president of the United States of America."

Flake was one of the few sitting Republicans who openly criticized the president and his actions while in office, costing him GOP support for a second Senate term. He revealed on Monday that he voted for a third-party candidate in 2016.

"I have never before voted for a Democrat for president," Flake said. "But I've been asked many times over the past four years if I, as a conservative, could vote for a Democrat for president. 'Sure,' has been my ready answer, 'if he or she were a Joe Biden-kinda-Democrat.'"

He extolled Biden's virtues and contrasted them with Mr. Trump's divisive approach to governing.

"After the turmoil of the past four years, we need for a president who unifies rather than divides. We need a president who prefers teamwork to tribalism. We need a president who summons our better angels, not a president who appeals to our baser instincts. That's why we need Joe Biden," he said. "If we have learned anything over the past four years, it is that character matters. Decency matters. Civility never goes out of style. And we should expect our president to exhibit these virtues."

Flake is not the only Republican politician to announce support for Biden. Several have endorsed Biden, including former Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent, former Ohio Governor John Kasich, and a number of top GOP national security experts have thrown their support behind him.

The Democratic National Convention last week featured several Republicans who are voting for Biden, an indication of the Democratic Party's efforts to win over Republicans and independents who have soured on Mr. Trump.

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